Article abstract

Nature Materials 8, 68 - 75 (2009)
Published online: 7 December 2008 | doi:10.1038/nmat2336

Subject Categories: Composites | Optical, photonic and optoelectronic materials

A synergistic assembly of nanoscale lamellar photoconductor hybrids

Marina Sofos1,5, Joshua Goldberger2,5, David A. Stone2, Jonathan E. Allen1, Qing Ma3, David J. Herman1, Wei-Wen Tsai2, Lincoln J. Lauhon1 & Samuel I. Stupp1,2,4

Highly ordered nanostructured organic/inorganic hybrids offer chemical tunability, novel functionalities and enhanced performance over their individual components. Hybrids of complementary p-type organic and n-type inorganic components have attracted interest in optoelectronics, where high-efficiency devices with minimal cost are desired. We demonstrate here self-assembly of a lamellar hybrid containing periodic and alternating 1-nm-thick sheets of polycrystalline ZnO separated by 2–3 nm layers of conjugated molecules, directly onto an electrode. Initially the electrodeposited inorganic is Zn(OH)2, but pipi interactions among conjugated molecules stabilize synergistically the periodic nanostructure as it converts to ZnO at 150 °C. As photoconductors, normalized detectivities (D*) greater than 2times1010 Jones, photocurrent gains of 120 at 1.2 V mum-1 and dynamic ranges greater than 60 dB are observed on selective excitation of the organic. These are among the highest values measured for organic, hybrid and amorphous silicon, making them technologically competitive as low-power, wavelength-tunable, flexible and environmentally benign photoconductors.

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
  2. Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
  3. DND-CAT, Northwestern University Synchrotron Research Center, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA
  4. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
  5. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: Samuel I. Stupp1,2,4 e-mail:


These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.


Optoelectronics Combining chemical worlds

Nature Materials News and Views (01 Jan 2009)